NYT: Big Pharma hits the panic button as new programs fail to deliver

This year alone Big Pharma is staring at a loss of patent protection on drugs that bring in $50 billion a year. And the patent cliff has arrived at a time R&D divisions are failing at the task of delivering a new wave of drugs desperately needed to replace the lost income.

"This is panic time, this is truly panic time for the industry," Tufts' Kenneth I. Kaitin, director of the Center for the Study of Drug Development, tells the New York Times, which attempts to connect the dots. "I don't think there's a company out there that doesn't realize they don't have enough products in the pipeline or the portfolio, don't have enough revenue to sustain their research and development."

For Pfizer, the confluence of events has triggered a decision to radically reduce its R&D costs while focusing on a more narrow niche of new therapies for cancer, inflammation, neuroscience and branded generics, according to the Times. And the NIH feels it needs to step in now with a new unit that will devote a billion dollars a year to new drug development.

- here's the article from the New York Times